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Position paper on Security: We put people’s safety first
Our world is a world of change. Old allies are distancing themselves from Europe, old rivals are threatening our continent again. New threats occur, new technologies give criminals new opportunities. In the face of these new threats, the EU provides a safe harbour of peace, stability, freedom and democracy. The EPP Group has led, and continues to lead, in providing security for our citizens. Our achievements these past five years have made our continent safer, but we can, and must do more.
No matter what political ideology, religious belief, or separatist aspiration a terrorist has, their actions are a crime that must be eliminated. Terrorists, whether lone actors or members of a network of hate, know no frontiers; we must respond across our common borders.
(1) Cooperation and exchange of information
(2) Disrupting the means
It is essential we:
(3) Prevention and counter-radicalisation
(4) Victims of terrorism
We have to enhance control of our external borders. We are convinced that better protection of the EU’s external borders is crucial to preserve our citizens’ security, manage the migration crisis and maintain the passport-free Schengen zone. The EU's external borders are common borders, requiring collective and joint action by national and EU authorities. We need to harmonise our procedures. Our border control forces have to ensure that we know who enters and leaves the EU, and that persons in need of international protection are given effective access to asylum procedures, while those who do not qualify are returned. Efficient control of our external borders is fundamental, but the whole chain has to work. Detecting those who cross our external border illegally is not enough, the return system has to work just as well.
(1) Integrated border management
(1a) Reception centres in third countries
(2) Strengthened police cooperation
(3) Cooperation with third countries
The borders of the European Union are no longer along the shores of the Mediterranean but at the edge of the Sahara desert. Securing our borders in the South starts with the right mix of development and military cooperation. Economic aid must be linked to a policy of returns and readmissions. We have to increase EU training and equipping efforts to increase the capabilities of our partners. In empowering local partners we already protect our citizens south of the Sahel.
People need to feel they are protected on their streets, in their homes, but also online. The digital world has to have a free flow of goods and services, but also information. Misinformation, fake news and propaganda are a threat to our collective security because they undermine the trust citizens have in their institutions. Europe, with its industrial base, must become a leader in cybersecurity, to keep our consumer goods and industrial applications safe, to secure critical infrastructure and to keep the flow of information genuine.
(1) We believe in cybersecurity
(2) We believe in information, not misinformation
In a changing world, the EU must remain a beacon of stability. Our policy should be based on the three Ps of peace, prosperity and partnership, for us and our neighbours.
To secure peace we must secure our borders; we must have the capacity to defend ourselves, both in cyberspace and with boots on the ground. We must coordinate more often, faster and better among ourselves and give ourselves the tools to do this effectively. But we must also help other countries help themselves so that they help us be safe.
If our partners do not share in our prosperity, and in our peace, we will not have long-term security. The problems of our neighbours become our problems; we must think of how to invest early, how to develop sustainably and how to permanently stabilise our neighbourhood, in order to achieve lasting security.
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